As we get to the end of New York Fashion Week, I'd like to highlight the story of one of my favorite fashion icons.
The famous Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium to a Dutch baroness and an English banker. Yet for all the comforts of status, Audrey suffered from depression and malnutrition during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. She went hungry. She witnessed Jewish children being sent to concentration camps. Her father would later leave the family. Her story could easily have become another tragic one for the history books.
Yet, we know that this ailing girl would become a fashion icon, an Oscar-winning actress, and even a UNICEF ambassador in her lifetime. Something good won out. And I believe it was her attitude:
If my world were to cave in tomorrow, I would look back on all the pleasures, excitements and worthwhilenesses I have been lucky enough to have had. Not the sadness, not my miscarriages or my father leaving home, but the joy of everything else. It will have been enough.
-- Audrey Hepburn
If her words can be of any encouragement, it is for us to choose optimism. Whether it is the end of the world or the end of a season: choose optimism. It is about still chasing the things that motivate us, challenge us, and give us joy.
Despite her mental and physical difficulties, young Audrey Hepburn pursued the rigorous work of ballet. She was discovered in a dance studio. So, she kept pursuing the things that gave her joy-- modeling, acting, and serving. Audrey Hepburn seemed to embrace an attitude that the whole picture of life is exactly that. There is no lopsided cynicism and neither an overbearing giddiness. There is just the reality that tragedies do not cloud over the good